In the last few months power in France has passed from the right to the left, reconstituting the political landscape.  --  In Le Mourre, a vast 5,884-page encyclopedic dictionary of history drafted by a single man, Michel Mourre, one page, translated below, is devoted to an analysis of the left-right distinction.[1].  --  BACKGROUND:  Mourre devoted the last decades of a brief reclusive life to the drafting of reference works that are perhaps unique in the 20th century for their solitary erudition.  --  Little-known in the English-speaking world, Le Mourre, as the work has popularly come to be known, was first published in France in 1978, several months after the author's death at the age of 49.  --  It has gained a certain reputation as a monument of erudition, and has been kept up to date in several subsequent editions.  --  The passage translated below is from the 1996 French edition.  --  Mourre's imperturbable impassivity and blasé attitude of nil admirari will not be attractive to many readers, but the sober virtues of his prose have an appeal of their own....

Le Mourre is a vast encyclopedic dictionary of history drafted by a single man, Michel Mourre.  --  Mourre devoted the last decades of a brief reclusive life to the drafting of reference works that are perhaps unique in the 20th century for their solitary erudition.  --  Little-known in the English-speaking world, le Mourre, as the work has popularly come to be known, was first published in France in 1978, several months after the author's death at the age of 49.  --  It has gained a certain reputation as a monument of erudition, and has been kept up to date in several subsequent editions.  --  The 1996 French edition runs to 5,884 pages, half of one of which summarizes the history of Damascus (up to 1991), and is translated below.[1]  --  Mourre's imperturbable impassivity and blasé attitude of nil admirari will not be attractive to many readers, but the sober virtues of his prose have an appeal of their own....

While the picture of the history of Syria that emerges from the excerpts copied below from H.G. Wells' Outline of History (rev. 3rd ed., 1921) is doubtless unreliable in many details, it does make apparent that the peoples of that land have for millennia been pawns in games played by foreign imperialists.[1]  --Mark]